A well groomed dog is a happy dog. Grooming is not only about your canine looking fabulous; there are also health reasons for primping your furry friend. Pet’s hair can become matted and when this happens they are not happy campers. Matted hair can often pull at your pet’s skin and that can be painful. In turn, your pet will claw and scratch at it which can cause skin irritation and leaves open wounds and scratches that can become infected.
Critters of all sorts love a good hot spot to call home, particularly ticks and fleas, both of which are detrimental to your pet’s health. Grooming your pet ensures these insects are found and evicted quickly before harm is done.
Other areas of grooming such as nail care can help spot any paw problems early and keep your pets paws comfortable-walking on overgrown nails can be very painful for them. Additionally, regular grooming can also help with early detection of general health issues such as sore spots, fractured bones and suspicious lumps.
So how do you find a good groomer? Like with anything else, you want to do your research. Not every state mandates that groomers be licensed and that can spell trouble for your pet because there is no one looking over a groomer’s shoulder making sure they are caring for your pet properly or to a mandated set of standards. This also means that the amount of training a groomer has is strictly up to them. While one groomer may have years of experience, another could have picked up a pair of scissors an hour ago. Do not be afraid to ask potential groomers what their credentials are and inquire about their years of experience.
Grooming internships and training are available, but unless you ask, that information may not be volunteered. State and national grooming organizations do exist however, and it is best to choose a groomer that is associated with one. Groomers who are certified will have a keen understanding of canine behaviors, health regulations and first aid skills, as well as being trained in anatomy and physiology of dogs.
Once you are satisfied with the groomer’s answers to your questions, observe the facility for cleanliness and upkeep. There will probably be some odor and miscellaneous hair/clippings, but these should be at a minimum. Inspect the tubs which may have some hair but they should not be filthy. Also check the drying cages and make sure they are spacious enough for your pet and inspect them well for cleanliness. Inquire as to what products are used to sanitize both (pet safe bleach is best).
Asking about shot protocols (rabies, temper) is also a good idea; however, not all shops require this so you will have to use your own judgment.
Find out exactly what services the groomer offers and at what price. A good groomer will have hair care, but will also have other services such as nail care and ear cleaning.
Lastly, you can never go wrong with word of mouth! Ask around to friends, co-workers and neighbors. The best way to find a reputable groomer is to rely on the experiences of others.